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It was a sweaty cover but the 1-seed Denver Nuggets (2-0) got there Wednesday vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 122-113 victory. Denver needed an 11-point 4th-quarter win to cover as -8 favorites vs. Minnesota in Game 2.
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone made a great point in his Game 2 recap presser when he said Denver is having a great series aside from one lousy quarter. The Nuggets are out-performing the Timberwolves in all “four factors”.
Minnesota out-scored Denver 40-23 in the 3rd quarter Wednesday but have lost the other seven quarters in this series. Nuggets PG Jamal Murray looks like the guy that went nuts in the NBA Bubble in 2020.
Murray is averaging a series-high 32.0 points per game (PPG) on 65.5% true shooting (.500/.500/.909) with a +24 net rating. T-Wolves Anthony Edwards is scoring a team-high 29.5 PPG on 66.8% true shooting (.526/.500/.857).
Nuggets at Timberwolves, Game 3 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 21st.
- Venue: Target Center in Minneapolis.
Honestly, I was all set to give out the Nuggets -2.5 (-110) in Game 3. Then, after looking at the betting splits, I’m switching sides and taking TIMBERWOLVES +2.5 (-110).
According to VSIN, roughly 80% of the action at DraftKings is on Denver. It doesn’t take a sharp to understand that eight of 10 sports bettors don’t beat the sportsbooks.
But, that’s not the only reason I’m taking whatever points I can get with Minnesota. Surprisingly, the Timberwolves’ starting 5 has out-played the Nuggets’ starters through the 1st two games of this series.
Per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG), T-Wolves bigs Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, PG Mike Conley and Edwards all have plus adjusted net rating. Nikola Jokic, F Aaron Gordon, G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Murray have minus net ratings.
This means the difference in the Nuggets-Timberwolves series have been the benches. However, role players typically perform better at home and Denver’s bench has been subpar all season.
With that in mind, I’m expecting Edwards and KAT will carry Minnesota Friday. Edwards almost beat Denver himself in the 2nd-half of Game 2, scoring 27 of his 41 points in the final two quarters.
In their 22 career head-to-head meetings, Towns is out-scoring Jokic 24.1-18.6 PPG, out-rebounding him 11.1-10.4, and is out-shooting Jokic from everywhere on the floor.
Lastly, this is a must-win for the T-Wolves and their aggressiveness will be a key factor in Game 3. They attempt the 5th-highest volume of shots at the rim and Denver is 29th in defensive field goal shooting vs. attempts at the rim, per CTG.
BET: Timberwolves +2.5 (-110) at DraftKings, down to +2
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